Non-passage of BBL doesn’t mean that the CAB is dead: Senate Pres Drilon

“We can not finish the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the time we adjourn on Wednesday, but that does not mean that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) is dead,” Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said in a press release posted on the Senate website.

He added that in so far as legislature is concerned, “The non-passage of the bill by the time we will adjourn would result in the bill being considered as no longer existing.”

Although the BBL is still in the agenda, the Senate Head explained that the period will be provided for Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to avail interpellation.

After 17 years of arduous peace negotiation, the CAB which seeks to end the long protracted conflict in Mindanao was signed by the Government of the Philippine (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in March 27, 2014.

The peace agreement is the basis for the crafting of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a legislation that aims to establish an autonomous Bangsamoro Government with more political and fiscal powers as an answer to address the yearning of the Bangsamoro people to self-rule without seceding from the Philippine Republic.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission, a 15-man body was created by the Aquino Administration to draft the BBL.

The BBL is supported by international communities, peace advocates, academe, civil society organizations, business groups, former ambassadors, surviving Framers of the 1987 Constitution, and Bangsamoro communities.

Sen. Drilon said to the national interest whoever the next president should pursue the peace process.

He explained that in the 17th Congress, “the chair of the committee can incorporate by reference all the testimonies of the resource persons in the 16th Congress or the documents.”

The MILF leadership had earlier said that they would continue the peace process with the next administration should the CAB-compliant BBL failed to be passed in the 16th Congress.

The Front had expressed apprehension that frustration out of the failure of BBL passage may open door for radical groups espousing violent extremism to gain supporters.